You are correct; Abraham had 8 sons. He had one by Hagar, one by Sarah, and six by Keturah. I will now quote the passages to prove this. Genesis 16:15 says, “So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael” (NKJV). Genesis 21:2-3 state, “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to Him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.” And finally in Genesis 25:1-2 we read, “Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.”

Did you know that Abraham also had children that were not born to him naturally? To prove this let’s begin by reading Genesis 15:2: “And Abram said, ‘Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless?” Verse 5 tells us, “Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Now one might think that God was merely speaking of Abraham’s “earthly descendants” in this passage but there are other scriptures that teach us otherwise. In Romans 4:1-3 the apostle Paul reminds us of Abraham and his faith in God’s promise. It reads, “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God, For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’.” When Paul referred to Abraham as “our father,” he was no doubt speaking to Jews who were Abraham’s “natural descendants,” but as the chapter unfolds, Paul introduces Abraham’s children who were not born to him naturally.

The whole theme of this chapter is that of being “justified by faith” and in verse 16 we read these precious words, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to THOSE WHO ARE OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, WHO IS THE FATHER OF US ALL.” Ah, here we are introduced to Abraham’s “spiritual descendants”—for everyone who has the same faith as Abraham are Abraham’s children! Again, think of that starry night when God told Abraham to number the stars and then He promised him, “So shall your descendants be.” Just as there are countless stars, so there are countless souls who have taken God at His word by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The very moment a sinner believes on Christ as His Savior his faith is “accounted to him for righteousness.” He has believed God just as Abraham did and he is now looked at as a child of Abraham. Galatians 3:26 & 29 bring out this same blessed truth: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…and if you are Christ’s, then YOU ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED, and heirs according to the promise.” Is the reader a child of Abraham? (229.1) (DO)